Utah has the most special place in my heart. Having lived in Utah for almost 10 years and being the place where I found my passion for wedding photography – it will always be one of my favorite places everrrr. Utah is truly unreal. It’s a bucket list place for many travelers because the scenery is stunning and incredibly diverse. From red rocks to lush mountains. It’s incredible to say the least. Let’s go ahead and get into some of my favorite locations to shoot across Utah.
Bonneville Salt Flats
Salt Flats Rest Area Westbound
I’m going to start off by saying it is a drive to get to the Salt Flats. But I will quickly follow it up with it is worth it! Truly. The Salt Flats are on a bucket list for so many people for a reasonnnn!! It is beyond unreal. While the Salt Flats area is huge and vast, I recommend driving to the Westbound Rest Area. There are restrooms there. But you can also just drive straight from the rest area parking lot straight onto the Salt Flats. Don’t worry – actually everyone does it! It’s the best way to get out on the Salt Flats and find an area in which you can shoot with little to no one in the background.
Tunnel Springs Park
1080 Eaglepointe Dr, North Salt Lake, UT 84054
In North Salt Lake is this gorgeous park. It overlooks the Great Salt Lake and has lush, green, rolling hills for days. This park has gotten very popular over the past few years for photography – especially at sunset. Luckily, it is pretty large and you can easily keep walking and find areas without people in your background. However, I recommend biting the bullet and coming for a sunrise session. You get the sun peaking out over the hills behind you and for the most part, the only people there are you and a few local residents from the surrounding neighborhood.
Ladyfinger Campground, Egg Island Overlook Rd, Utah
One of my all-time favorite locations that Utah has to offer is Antelope Island. Even just on this tiny island are so many vast landscapes. You have the Great Salt Lake, stunning rocks, fields of grass, and cliffside views that are the closest I have ever been to Iceland (they’re not quite that amazing, don’t get me wrong – but they for sure give me Secret Life of Walter Mitty vibes). Big warning tho: If you shoot here in the summer, the bugs are UNREAL. Biting gnats, flies, other gnats. There will be hundreds in your photos and you’re sure to go home with at least 50 bug bites as well. I recommend going during fall/spring because the snow isn’t bad, the temperatures are a little better, and the bugs aren’t nearly as awful! There is also an entrance fee per car to enter. I recommend meeting clients outside of the entrance, hopping in one car, and driving to and around the island from there.
Meadow Hot Springs
Meadow Hot Springs, Kanosh, UT 84637
One of my favorite hot springs in Utah. It’s for sure a drive to get here and slightly in the middle of nowhere but beyond worth it! There are several “hot pots” here for you to soak in and choose from. And one of my favorite parts about this location is that it is surrounded by the most beautiful, tall grass. So you can not only get some steamy (hehe) photos in the hot springs, but before you (or your couple) even hops into the water, you can also get the most beautiful photos frolicking in the grass. The roads once you get to the hot springs are pretty rough and bumpy, so I recommend bringing an off-roading vehicle, but it’s not bad to walk around as well. Also, there are often nudists at the Hot Springs, so don’t be alarmed when you go, hehe!
I happened upon this location in my very first year of photography and it is still one of my all-time favorite locations to date. The view is unrealllll. Rolling hills of grass surrounded by stunning aspen trees and even again surrounded by Utah’s gorgeousssss mountains. There’s truly no losing with this location. It’s on the way up to Buffalo Peak, but not quite there. Along the trail there are the fields for you to shoot at. My all-time favorite time of the year to shoot here is fall! The mountains light up with the changing leaves and you can’t beat that view of Timpanogos Mountain. There is a small parking lot just across from the fields and a small “hike” (and by hike, I mean a 5-minute walk up and down the hills). Fair warning tho, the road up to here closes during the winters/snowing months (about end of October – April). So keep that in mind if you want to shoot here!
The easiest way for me to explain where to park here is to look up North Fork Trailhead. There is parking on both sides of the street, but you’ll want to park on the south side for the easiest access to the area I’m talking about. Jordan Pines is stunning. Truly pines all around you, lush green walkways, and the coolest fallen tree ever. Sometimes, this location is closed during winter because of the roads, but fall, spring, and summer…. chef’s kiss!
Up Provo Canyon, just a few minutes past Sundance Resort is Aspen Grove. There are two fields you could shoot at (however, one has parking lots on both sides of it – so just be aware of that in the background of your photos). And there is parking along the road as well as a parking lot – however, if you decide to park in the parking lot, you will need to pay a fee and get a day pass to the National Forrest there. To avoid that fee, I usually just park on the side of the road before I reach the ranger station (or flip a u-turn at the ranger station). You can easily walk from there over to either field. I also recommend going along into the trees as well. Gives me magic fairy vibes all over! This spot is super popular for bridals, family photos, and family outings, so I would shoot at sunrise or just try to shoot not on a weekend night to avoid the crowds. This location also is right next to Aspen Grove’s outdoor Amphitheatre – which can provide for different backgrounds and variety as well. The sun does “set” so much earlier here because it is surrounded 360 by mountains, so also be prepared for that when planning what time to shoot. Golden hour up here is at least an hour earlier than golden hour in the valley.
Tibble Fork Reservoir
This location is incredible all year round! However, it is incredibly busy – all year round! Even in the winter. This local lake is so stunning, surrounded by pines, and has hills of grass just opposite. It’s beautiful and lush and green in the summer, golden and glowy in the fall, and so magical in the winter. The road to this lake can sometimes close due to weather, but for the most part, it’s open year round. During the winter is especially fun to shoot here because the lake freezes over completely and you can walk on it (yup! You read that right) and even do some sledding here. Don’t forget about the gorgeous canyon as you drive up as well. So many beautiful places to pull over and take photos as well. There is also an entrance fee to enter the canyon. You pay per car, so try to meet at the chuch parking lot (4679 W 11000 N, Highland, UT 84003) or at the Carpool Lot (40.432067, -111.748202) before entering. There is also not great service up there and the parking lot is almost always packed – so make sure if you’re meeting clients up there, you are abundantly clear about how they can find you or where to meet.
Rock Canyon Trail, Provo, UT 84604
Not to be confused with Rock Canyon Park (although it is very close to the park). The entrance to Rock Canyon is gorgeoussss to shoot at. There are cool rocks (I know that sounds so lame, but trust me haha), brush and grass, and when shooting facing the canyon – you have epic canyon and rock views! I highly highly recommend this area for a sunrise shoot. It’s less crowded and having that sun rise and peek through the canyon is sooo beautiful!
I could write a novel on the lengths it took me to find this particular location to shoot at. I almost don’t want to share it because of how much work it took me to find, but I have to because wowowow it is one of my favorites. And I am trying not to gate keep here haha! This location. Unreal. It is surrounded by mountains. The easiest way for me to tell you how to get here is to exit towards Vivian Park when you go up Provo Canyon and then just keep going. You go until you literally cannot anymore (because it turns into a private road). There is a dirt parking lot on your right (before it turns into the private road). Park there. There is about a 5-10 minute hike/walk up the hill from the parking lot to the field, so definitely prepare yourself and your clients for that. But it’s not bad at all! Once up there, there’s just that huge field and you’re surrounded by mountains. I highly suggest shooting here during summer and fall, but mostly fall because the grass in the field is so golden and the mountains are chaning colors and it is truly unreal and you can thank me later, haha!
Want some red rock vibes, but without having to drive to Moab or Zion? Diamond Fork is it!!! It obviously doesn’t give you as wild or epic red rock vibes as Moab or Zion, but it’s so much closer and such a cool and random pocket of red rock that’s so close! The red rock is also surrounded by endless brush and truly is such a *diamond* in the rough (okay… if you still like me after that joke, you’re a real one, haha)!
I’ll start off by saying I do not recommend getting in the water. It is actual toxic waste, haha! But it is beautiful and is surrounded by beauty! There is an entrance fee to go into Utah Lake park, but it’s just a few dollars and you can meet outside the entrance and hop in one car to pay less if you’d like. The surrounding areas just outside the park entrance are gorgeous as well. I’ve also never shot here during the winter, but I’ve heard that recently, the wind and the cold in unison with the lake make for some incredible ice scapes and add amazing texture and background to the photos. It looks soooo cool! To enter, I recommend taking Center Street straight west. Then once you enter the park, head left at the fork and go all the way out on the peninsula. If you want to shoot in the area around Utah Lake, take the last right before you hit the gate entrance for the park. Follow that til the end of the block and then turn right again. That entire street is absolutely stunning and sometimes the local horses pop by and say hello!
Studios in Utah
Utah truly is a treasure trove of locations to shoot at. Both outdoors and indoors. The locations are almost endless! I haven’t shot at many studios in Utah, but I wanted to share a list for you. They are beautiful and perfect if you’re more minimalistic, have a certain vision, or do more commercial/editorial work.
- The White Shanty Loft (a separate space from the reception space that is beautiful for in home sessions or commercial work)
- White Space Studios
- The Loft Studio
- Studio Elevn
- The 5th Floor
- Studio 1918
- Studio Noire Noir
- Travis J Studio
- Miesh Studio
- Light Loft Studio
- Otu Studios
Places that are on my bucket list to shoot at in Utah
I have not been to all the beautiful locations that Utah has to offer. So I don’t have examples of my own work at the following locations, but I had to share them anyways because they look incredible!
If any of these locations are on your bucket list too and you wanna book a shoot there, HIT. ME. UP! Let’s gooooo!! for real tho. As special places on my bucket list, I’ll be offering a little discount to shoots booked at the following locations.
- Arches National Park
- Zions National Park
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes
- Little Sahara Sand Dunes
- The Great Saltair
- Young Living Lavender Fields